Located between the cities of Austin and San Antonio, Texas Hill Country is comprised of many towns in the central area of the state. I discovered amazing food quality, clever recipes, and tantalizing eats on a recent vacation with my husband, Eddie, daughter, Taylor, and soon to be son-in-law, Blake. Our food was so impressive that I could not wait to share them with you. Importantly, most of these restaurants buy local and offer delicious Tex Mex, Barbecue, and German inspired dishes, three of my favorites. It was wonderful to find such good food and even better service and hospitality in the Lone Star state. Here is where we suggest that you eat in Texas Hill Country.
Where to Eat in Texas Hill Country
Milagro’s Hill Country Tex-Mex
9595 Ranch Road 12, Ste 12, Wimberley, TX 78676-5248
Sun-Thur 11AM-8PM Fri-Sat 11AM-9PM
Eddie and I stopped at Milagro’s with our dog, Priscilla, on our way into Canyon Lake. We sat on the outdoor patio, which was packed with really large groups. The Tex-Mex restaurant is artsy and festive; a great place for families with young children as they have a large outdoor play area. Lively music was playing in the background.
Our server, Daniel P, was pretty near perfect and the food at Milagro’s was a great way to kick off our vacation. Their chips, queso, and salsa were a perfect starter and really flavorful! Eddie and I shared the Top Shelf Chicken Fajita Nachos and the Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad. The nachos had big chunks of succulent chicken and ooey gooey melted cheese piled high on the chips. Scoops of sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and jalapeños piled atop the nachos. They were impeccable! Eddie also loved Milagro’s Fire & Ice Margarita.
Gruene River Grill
1259 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, TX
Sun-Thurs 11AM-9PM Fri-Sat 11AM-10PM
The Gruene River Grill peaked my interest from the look of the inviting sign located out front. The Gruene River Grill is a lovely restaurant with huge parlor rooms. One room was filled with bookcases that reminded me of the library from the Beauty & the Beast movie. The design style of this restaurant was rustic, yet chic, and it worked beautifully. Eddie, Taylor, and I enjoyed lunch on the outdoor patio with awesome views of people floating in tubes down the Guadalupe River.
We chose the Fried Shrimp platter with Fries and Asian Slaw, Queso Chicken, served with black beans and a rice dish with corn, and Smoked Pork Tacos with tomatillo sauce for lunch. The Asian slaw was sweet and crunchy, topped with black poppy seeds; I appreciated having something that is not on every other menu. Our food was outstanding, though the black beans against the Queso Chicken gave it an odd look, sort of like blue-funfetti icing. Overall, the Queso Chicken was my favorite and the delicate sauce was the consistency of cheese fondue. For dessert, we shared the Blackberry Cobbler; it was fabulous! Do not miss this tasty little number.
Silver Creek Beer Garden
310 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX
We met some friends while in Fredericksburg and wanted to go somewhere for drinks. Due to their huge selection of beers, cocktail menu, and appetizers, we opted to dine at the Silver Creek Beer Garden. The drinks that we selected were Moscow Mules, 30 ounce Margaritas (mostly ice, I would skip it), local wines, craft beer, peach Rum Bellinis (yum!), and a Texas favorite (which I had never heard of), cherry limeade Margaritas. Our thirsts were definitely quenched!
We ordered the Sausage Sampler (Bratwurst, Knackwurst and Pepperwurst) which was served with rye bread and German mustard, Spinach Artichoke dip, served with veggies and red tortilla strips to snack on. My favorite appetizer was the Fried Phyllo wrapped log of Triple Cream Brie Cheese, topped with a velvety tomato cream sauce. It was really hard to share that Brie; what a clever recipe! Silver Creek Beer Garden is large inside with a killer bar in the back. Musicians were entertaining the patio crowd with live music. This was definitely a fun and memorable stop.
3260 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX
Closed Tuesdays Wed-Monday 9AM-3PM and 5PM-9PM
Rathskeller Restaurant is located in the basement of the circa 1800 old Keidel Hospital and is a bit tricky to find. It is an interesting restaurant, though not very easy on the eye. We were given a private room at Rathskeller due to the number of us. Although I chose this place for its German cuisine, Rathskeller’s menu was limited in those choices. Between the 7 of us, we tried the Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Artichoke (fabulous!), Chicken Philly Sandwich, Creole Style Red Beans & Rice with smoked jalapeño cheddar sausage, Jaeger Schnitzel’s with red cabbage, German potato salad, sauerkraut, and the “Lois” Speared Salmon Filet, with a lemon caper butter sauce and sautéed spinach. There were no complaints on any of our dishes and my Jaeger Schnitzel was very enjoyable. I loved the red cabbage which was not too sweet and not too tart; perhaps the best I have ever eaten. Oi Oi Oi!
Mamacita’s Restaurant & Cantina
506 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX
Sun-Thurs 11AM-9:30 PM Fri-Sat 11AM-10PM
We stopped at Mamacita’s after touring the wineries in Fredericksburg. Inside this huge eatery is a fun game room, unique stained glass windows, and a very busy atmosphere. A member of the staff was making house made flour tortillas and working as fast as he could to keep with the demands. Those puffy and piping hot tortillas were incredible with salsa or even plain butter. Our server was a pro and helped us make our selections. We began with Chili Con Queso to accompany the complimentary chips and salsa that we were given upon arrival. We were also given a second avocado/sour cream based sauce that was fantastic! For dinner, Taylor and I shared a Chicken Quesadilla (they are huge), and the rest had Tamales (they were gone in seconds and highly recommended), and a Chicken Burrito with Mole Sauce. The mole sauce was some of the best that I had ever had, with rich and deep flavors. Definitely order a pitcher of gold margaritas. Mamacita’s is a chain restaurant and there are 5 locations in the Hill Country area.
Lucky’s Sports Bar & Grill
18100 Farm to Market 306, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
Sun-Fri 11AM-Midnight Sat 11AM-1AM
Lucky’s Sports Bar & Grill was very close to the resort that we were staying at in Texas Hill Country and we were so impressed with their dishes that we actually ate there twice. For lunch on our second visit, we ordered cups of Gumbo, Chicken Sandwich, Soft Tacos with Beans & Rice, Green Chili Cheeseburger, and the Pulled Pork Cuban Sandwich. Lucky’s gumbo was spot on and we immediately wished we had ordered bowls instead of cups. The Cuban sandwich was prepared perfectly with a side of Parmesan dusted fries. Lucky’s decor is standard for a sports bar, sports memorabilia on the walls and several TV’s; but the cleanliness of the restaurant and bathrooms was remarkable. Lucky’s also has a huge outdoor patio nightthat became packed at. Currently, this restaurant ranks #16 on TripAdvisor for the local eateries and I am here to tell you that is way too low. The food here rocks!
On The Rocks Food and Spirits
2009 North Park Road, Canyon Lake, TX
Closed Tuesdays Mon, Wed-Fri 11AM-12AM Sat 11AM-1AM Sun 11AM-12AM
On the Rocks is another restaurant that was close to where we stayed in Texas Hill Country. This fun restaurant gets rave reviews for its live music, wide selection of beers on tap, and premium cocktails. Plus, the food is splendid! The decor features large high top 8 seat tables, TV’s, and an outdoor patio. We visited On the Rocks for lunch and dug right in to the Queso, Chips, and Salsa on the starters menu. The four of us fought over the Queso, so velvety and smooth. For our main dishes, we chose Fish & Chips with Hand-cut Fries, Wings (super meaty!), BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, and the Pulled Pork Chile Relleno, served with an off the hook creamy Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese and Artichoke Vegetable Medley. This dish scores a perfect 10 for originality and deliciousness. Our server Michelle also gets a round of applause for being the best waitress we had during our weeklong visit to Texas Hill Country. This foodie ranks On the Rocks an A+ in taste.
Rio Rio Cantina
421 East Commerce (on the River Walk), San Antonio, TX 78205
7 Days a Week Breakfast 9:30AM-1PM Lunch 10:30AM-3PM
Dinner Sun-Thur 3PM-11PM Sat-Sun 3PM-12AM
Rio Rio was the restaurant that we chose when visiting the San Antonio River Walk. We wanted to sit close to the water and their Tex Mex menu looked appealing. As usual, we started with Chile Con Queso (are you seeing a trend?) which was more like a luscious fondue. It was fab! Chicken Fajitas, Burrito de Barbacoa (a Texas delicacy- super rich and tender Akaushi beef cheeks that are oh-so flavorful), Mexican Rice and Refried Beans, and the Combination Enchiladas were our lunch choices. I did not care for the guacamole and the rice was dry and uneventful. Other than that, the food was pleasing. Our waiter was entertaining and offered us a discount card for reviewing the restaurant on Trip Advisor. Check out the happy hour specials and do not miss ordering Rio Rio’s Premium Margarita’s by the pitcher. They are certain to wet your whistle and whet your appetite.
And there you have it, my list of places to eat in Texas Hill Country. If you have ever been to any of the restaurants mentioned, let me know how your meal was. If you have any other restaurant recommendations please send them my way! Where do you like to eat in Texas Hill Country?